Product Description: This Mint Cased OM Pilot Badge is an absolutely perfect piece. We have never seen another in such perfect condition. This extremely desirable, early, high-quality award is made of die-struck Tombak. All of the original finish is intact. The wreath boasts a gorgeous high silver electroplated finish, with perfect burnishing to the highlights. The pristine eagle retains all of the original factory darkening. All of the crisp and fine detail is intact, with no wear. The reverse of this badge shows only the slightest hint of age toning, and is textbook in every regard. The attachment pin is functional, and there are no repairs or damage. It’s marked behind the eagle with “OM” indicating manufacture by an as yet unknown maker. This fantastic badge is housed in a nice case that is correct for this maker. The exterior of the case shows only extremely slight wear and toning. The lid is embossed in gold leaf with the award designation “Luftwaffenflugzeugführerabzeichen.” The hinge and push button are in perfect working order. Inside, the badge is handsomely displayed on a deluxe blue velvet insert. The lid lining and hinge cover are intact with no issues. This Mint Cased OM Pilot Badge would likely be impossible to ever upgrade. It’s a supremely choice example.
Historical Description: The Luftwaffe Pilot Badge was instituted by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring on August 12, 1935. It was among the earliest badges introduced in the German Wehrmacht and was worn by all qualified pilots in the German Air Force, similar to the “wings” worn by some other armies. The design of the badge featured a large, swooping eagle clutching the German national swastika emblem, surrounded by a wreath of oak and laurel leaves. The badge was normally presented in a blue hinged case. It was worn on the upper left uniform pocket, and a cloth version was also authorized for field use. In the nearly ten years from the introduction of this badge, to the end of WWII, the manufacturers of these awards made many changes in the features of the designs. Some companies, like Juncker, Assmann, and Deumer, had early first pattern badges which looked completely different from later pieces by the same manufacturers. Pilot badges were made of aluminum, nickel silver, plated Tombak, and zinc. The eagle was always a separate piece, riveted to the wreath, with different manufacturers using different rivet designs. As the war progressed, and dies wore out, many makers produced badges with subtle changes. All of these changes, over time, opened up a large spectrum of variation collecting for Luftwaffe badge collectors.
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